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Tell me about driving a 308 or 328

Discussion in '308/328' started by Carsonp, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. Carsonp

    Carsonp Formula 3

    Sep 29, 2004
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    Carson Partain
    I have heard they are awful to ride in. How is this, why is this and is it true?

    How is the ride?
    How is the handling?
    How is the power?
    etc...
     
  2. matteo

    matteo F1 World Champ

    Aug 1, 2002
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    Heir Butt
    fine
    fine
    fine
     
  3. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    4,354
    NY
    If you've ridden in a 63-90 Corvette that is a harsh ride. If you ridden in a 63-90 Jag (e-type or XJS) that is a smooth ride. So my 308 is right in the middle . Its is firm but not harsh. But the ride is overshadowed by the noise , smell and fun so enjoy the ride.
     
  4. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 26, 2005
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    What's the context?

    If you drive a Lexus sedan everyday, a 308/328 is going to be tight and loud. You'll feel the road, hear the engine revving, etc. Most modern cars isolate you from all of this.

    Handling is great - honest is the best word for it - but reasonably sporty modern cars with ABS, traction control, etc., are going to outhandle it. No power steering -- mall parking lots won't be fun, fast winding roads will be. The cars are very low - 44" or so in height - so they have little roll. If you want to pretend you're Schumacher, you can do it in these cars.

    The Lotus Elise would be a comparison, but it's much smaller. The Porsche Boxster is more civilized - you can buy an automatic, put the air on, listen to the stereo and commute with it. A 308/328 demands your attention.

    Power was outstanding -- in 1984. If you're looking for something to win stoplight races, Corvettes can do that. The 328's time of 0-60 in 6 or 7 seconds (someone can correct me here) is respectable, but any new sports car will outrun it. The 308's are now considered slow. They look and sound great, but 200-235hp is about what a modern Jeep has.

    If someone told you they were awful to ride in, find out what they consider a great ride.

    Jon
     
  5. PMDDMD

    PMDDMD Formula Junior

    Apr 1, 2004
    362
    Driving my 328 is all about the total experience. It's definitely not my car of choice for a long haul (200+ miles) in a stretch, or running errands...your back's gonna let you know it. Running hills and twists are what it's meant for. You're forced to interact in the drive at all times, thus it is not, in my opinion, for the lazy cruise.

    As for power, my X-5 4.4 can probably take it off the line, but the handling is exceptional (for late 80's technology). I have not owned a car yet that puts more of a smile on my face than that little red Ferrari. The sound, smell, and yes, the "rough" ride, all put the driver firmly in synch with the machine and the road.
     
  6. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Feb 27, 2004
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    The seating position is a bit awkward, since the pedals are offset towards the center of the car, but the seat isn't. This isn't a problem unless you go on longer trips.

    The gearshift is very mechanical in feel and demands precision; no speed-shifting here. But that is what makes it so fascinating to use! The clutch pedal is heavy but not excessively so, though if I then hop in my Civic, its clutch then feels like it's not attached to anything! Steering is very heavy at parking speeds but nice at all others; its ratio is quick, so the car will wander if you're not paying attention.

    The ride is a bit harsh but less so than the last Corvette I rode in; still, one should avoid potholes and other pavement defects, and take it slowly over railroad tracks and speed bumps.

    Handling is nice and flat because of the low c.g.; I love how this car goes around corners. Absolute handling will depend on your tires, but the car is supposed to oversteer abruptly at the limit, a place I don't expect to get to!

    Acceleration seems brisk, but then all my other cars have been relatively tame Hondas. There is one two-lane freeway entrance ramp near here where I have no trouble "blowing people's doors off".

    All told, this is a car that is hard to drive, but if it weren't so hard, it wouldn't be so much fun! In spite of its vices I really enjoy driving mine.
     
  7. Ferrari 328 Euro

    Ferrari 328 Euro Formula Junior

    Jul 19, 2004
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    Brandon
    I think the 308/328 is a great car if you are into "feeling" the drive. It's not a Lexus full of quiet and luxury - it's a great car if you are into hearing the engine purrrrrr, instead of a Mozart concerto on the radio...

    My only complaint is no power steering. Parking can be a real pain in the butt!

    Overall, it's a great car on roads that wind - the handling (outside of parking lots!) is great.

    I agree with the other poster here who mentioned the sometimes it can be an uncomfortable ride on long journeys... I find myself sitting a little twisted in the seat to accommodate the pedals being off center.

    The GTB's offer a more "stiff and stable" ride compared to the GTS's which can "twist" with the lack of a solid roof.

    Oh yeah... the 3x8 series are great!
     
  8. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
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    You heard right. They suck to ride in. Being on the side without the steering wheel is a drag. Driving them is like nothing else on Earth.

    Birdman
     
  9. PMDDMD

    PMDDMD Formula Junior

    Apr 1, 2004
    362
    Couldn't have said it better myself. Come to think of it, I didn't!
     
  10. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Feb 27, 2004
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    The driving part is fine. What is annoying is little things like:

    --Turn signals which are inaudible and have lights that are virtually invisible in daylight. The only way to be sure they're off is to look at the lever!
    --A speedometer that is off by 10% and (in my case) a tachometer that's off by 40%.
    --And the lighting on those gauges is so poor that they are almost unreadable at night. (But since the gauges are so unreliable, who cares?)
    --Heating and air conditioning that are entirely separate: switches, fans, vents. You need to be an ingegnere (which I am!) to figure them out.
    --A right-side mirror with normal glass, which makes it almost useless. I put wide-angle glass in mine, and now it is fine.

    But one must always remember: this is an Italian car. Then this all makes sense!
     
  11. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

    Jun 22, 2004
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    Interesting post Birdman...but I cannot argue it as I have never been a passenger in a 308. I test drove my 308 and bought it. Best car I have enver driven (experience wise)...I love it. Since my wife does not know how to drive 5 speed, I guess I will never know :)
     
  12. wise3

    wise3 Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
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    Ward Orndoff
    I have to agree with Birdman. The ride is firm, but not at all bone-jarring. Much better than the 80's Vette or the 90's RX7. It's loud compared to a luxury car, but to me the sound is music. One of my best memories is a 9400 mile solo trip a while back, from south FL to CA and back by way of NY. 900 to 1300 miles a day, and my back never complained in the least. Mix in 6 days on three race tracks along the way, and as far as I'm concerned that's just about perfection. (Well, it could use better A/C)
     
  13. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Dr. Dumb Ass
    Its your ass and your money.

    Find an event, join a club. Drive one.

    If you like it, buy it.

    Subjective comments = BS.

    Next question?
     
  14. patpong

    patpong Formula 3

    Jul 6, 2004
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    Ride is harderd than a Honda Accord.
    Handling is pretty good balance, and enter corners and out in one piece better than a Honda Accord.
    Power??? a new Honda Accord might be better....

    overall Fun??? Far better than any others.... remember it's a classic..what you expect... Do do care how the priceless 30's Duesenberg or Bugatti handle???
     
  15. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
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    You are taking me too literally! I was just making a funny about the "ride" versus the "drive". I have been a passenger in plenty of other people's 308's and it rides great. It rides like a sports car should (stiff, but not like a board). I had a Corvette that rode much harder and my wife HATED riding in it. My wife thinks the 308 is actually very nice to ride in. We went to a wedding in it last year.

    Birdman
     
  16. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
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    May 4, 2001
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    Life is not a 0-60 race. Nobody buys 308/328's because they want a fast car. They buy them because they want a Ferrari. MANY cars will outrun it, shift better and cost less. So what? None will sound better, look better or attract a bigger crowd everywhere you go.
    I got my haircut yesterday and TWO really attractive women came outside to see my 308 when I was leaving. Try getting any other car to do that for you so easily.
     
  17. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
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    Paul
    I guess the ones who ask what you are comparing it to have it pretty much right, but also to ask what you want, or expect. People who ride in a MB complain the car rides to stiff, cant understand why they cost so much and ride stiffer than a Cadillac.
    Most people never understand body flex, or ever see or feel it. The 308 is a tube chassis car and as such has almost zero body flex. You look out at the fenders as you hit bumps and the car is just absolutely solid as a peice of machined steel, while the suspension does the job it was intended to do, soak up the road. Its the absolute stiffest car body I have ever seen.
    I drove a GTSi almost 60 miles through very twisty hilly road with barely a straight long enough to exceed 60 MPH, and it was the hands down most fun car I have ever driven. I assume my 77 carbed car will be much more so. I can also attest that at 6-1 tall, its a small car. But if you "learn" how to sit, it is quite comfortable even after a day of driving. But if you dont care for tight controlled sports cars, youll never be happy in one. Everyone does know the steering wheel is "adjustable" for height and reach, correct?
     
  18. DN35

    DN35 Formula Junior
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    Nov 22, 2003
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    D. Norton
    *uummm* it is? Didn't know that.

    I have a '78 308 and agree with all the comments.

    It's a lot like buying a fine watch or good liquor. A $20 casio will tell better time. And cheap whiskey will get you just as drunk.

    I enjoy listening to the engine so much that my car doesn't even have a radio.
     
  19. Ferrari328

    Ferrari328 Rookie

    Jan 1, 2005
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    Mikael
    It's like having sex.....sweaty, loud, wonderful, fun, can do it all day long.
    But the best thing...after an hour when you stop driving it..you still have an hard on:)
    Who needs viagra...buy a Ferrari:):)
     
  20. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 26, 2005
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    Jon
    ... you just got a great haircut.
     
  21. pete04222

    pete04222 Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Peter Cyr
    '79 308, Somewhat awkward to get into, but once you're in it fits like a glove.

    Power is all top end, if you are used to American V8's you'll find the 3x8 doesn't start to make any real power until it has passed the redline of the cars you are used to driving. A kind of "rule-of-thumb" I use when driving "spirited" is to keep it 1 gear lower than what I feel I should be in. Keeping the revs above 4,000 does take some getting used to.

    Handling the car at speed is kind of like driving a go-cart. Quick, responsive and predictable. Handling at parking lot speeds is like driving a dump truck. The car was made for racing, not parallel parking.

    The ride quality is somewhere between a go-cart and a dump truck. (OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you definately "feel" the road.)
     
  22. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Dr. Dumb Ass
    Or left his fly undone.
     
  23. greg328

    greg328 F1 Rookie
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    Nov 17, 2003
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    My 1977 308 GTB is an absolute joy! I'm 6'3", 225#s, and I fit just fine in the car.
    My non-emission car is powerful, much more than other '80s 308s I've driven, including QVs. In fact, I'm surprised how much power this car makes, especially above 3000 rpm.
    The carbs sound great, and respond instantly! Yes, there's some fuel-starvation issues in hard cornering, but how often will you do that on the street?
    I've modified my suspension (Varishocks, QA-1 springs, new a-arm bushings) and have 17" Speedlines and Dunlops, so my car feels almost modern. I've also switched out my A/C compressor for a rotary one (cooler air), installed a MOMO suede/leather steering wheel, Alpine radio and fire extinguisher.
    Regarding comfort, I'm amazed how comfortable my car is--remember, I'm 6'3"! I've never gone on a long road trip in it, but I suspect it wouldn't be difficult. Plenty headroom. Maybe I'm more legs than torso...
    I've set the shocks to 75% firm, but I want a firm ride. I also put Slick 50 gear oil in the gearbox, so the shift action is really easy.
    I love my 308, even though it's 28 years old. It is absolute sculpture on wheels--I never tire of looking at it. The styling is just amazing!
    Negatives? Very few...... Pedal box is tight. ( I have size 13 shoes--have to wear driving shoes, or remove my right shoe otherwise!) The offset of the pedals is easy to get used to. Cost of service/parts is a little silly, but not that big a deal, considering the deal I got when I bought the car.
    I can't imagine owning one of the modern F cars. I can't justify the cost, even if I could afford it! Personally, I think the 308/328 line is much more attractive than the "modern era" Ferraris, even though I acknowledge they are more advanced. I've driven a 348 and 2 355s, and even though they are more advanced and powerful, I wouldn't necesarrily call them more fun to drive. I think the 360, although an awesome car, looks more Japanese than Italian! The 430 even more so.....
    Can you tell I'm smitten by my 308? I always will be!

    Greg
     
  24. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    Well put!
     
  25. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
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    May 4, 2001
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    EXCELLENT POST!! I agree 10000000%
     

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